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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Challenging Times

Challenge #1:

Well, as usual, I should have followed my own advice and sat out on the sidelines for the past week.

You see, the selling pressure on the stock market was just too much even for some of my good potential setups.

And, guess what, I still am not following my advice... Sort of ...

You see, I pulled out of my positions with KERX and RGR (though I still think RGR is a worthy one to watch). One trend of a bad economy and irrational fear of losing the right to bare arms is that gun and ammo companies tend to do well. In my mind, those two conditions still exist today and can make for continued success in these companies.

The reason I am still invested is that one of the overriding tenants I follow, like Warren Buffet, is to look for good companies at bargain prices. ARO is just that sort of company. After hitting highs earlier this year, (yes I invested on the way up and sold when I reached my goal) , the combination of a natural pull back off of the high point and all the negative economic selling pressure made this stock worth another go around. We will see how correct I am over the next couple of weeks. Between hitting low support levels and a good quarterly report, that combination was worth a 5% jump in price since Thursday.

Challenge #1a:

The economy. Yes all the European financial crisis stuff is not good news. It puts yet another huge strain on the world financial markets and like the US financial crisis last year, the fixes may save us from Armageddon by only delaying the next inevitable challenge of huge debt and inflation.

Unlike the US Financial Crisis, the European crisis helps certain key areas of our economy. It makes the US dollar and investment vehicles attractive. This helps keep our rates down and inflation low and certain key prices (such and gasoline) low. All of this helps the United State counter the negative financial influence of Greece and Europe by making it easier for consumers and investors to naturally stimulate our own economic recovery.

My prediction: Our economic recovery probably has bottomed out and even started recovering but because of the European Crisis, and our very own stock market over-reacting - it never does that now does it… ;-) , (it is up over 60% in the past 12 months from it’s low point last year and still panics sells because of over exuberant traders, programs and lack of stop gaps ) Our “economic recovery” will have it starts and stops and mixed signals for another 12 months. This will only prolong the true recovery and result in both the economy and the stock market experience continued volatility.

Challenge #2:

It’s not fantasy football time yet, but that has not stopped me from thinking about it. So, I have started doing a little research and as always I read some of the “expert” commentary and wonder why?

Here is an example:

Opensports rated the ease of schedule for each position. They gave the Washington Redskins and Donovan McNabb a #1 QB rating based on strength, or lack there of, of schedule.


IMHO, they offensive line is marginally better than last year and I fear that poor Donovan will be getting all too good a view of the Goodyear Blimp’s underbelly.
This rating is based on passing defensive statistics from last year and does not take into account all the offseason trades, cuts, and draft acquisitions.

And take one look at our schedule and one realizes that it is tough!

They only bright spot in all this is the huge fact that we have Shanahan and Allen firmly in control of the team and together they have restored proper law and order (along with some new creative thinking) back into the team!

Fortunately, with regards to fantasy football, I have plenty of time to over analyze and prepare for the real start of the season later this summer.

Challenge #3:

Lately I have come across a couple different ideas for promoting web sites and new visitors.

The first was a blog hop sponsored by

It is a blogger type of contest/activity/challenge originally created and hosted by .

He did what is called a blog hop which basically gets followers to list and follow other blogs by listing entries. This type of linking can really help generate new visitors, traffic and help with search engine rankings.

The second is something called a Yakezie Challenge.

Basically this gets you entered into an Alexa search engine and Internet content ranking system by generating comments, ratings and links to other Alexa sites. This site uses it’s own browser toolbar to help promote, track and rank sites. You do not have to download or install the toolbar to register your site on Alexa, but it helps. Be aware that this has the same advantages and disadvantages that all toolbars have in the form of tracking cookies.

The third is having various contests or in this case challenges.

This actually ties into the previous two ideas.

I have tired, and failed miserably before with contests – though Sam and Grace probably do not think so – and I am hesitant to try yet again. But as I am a glutton for punishment, here is my idea(s).

Challenge #3a:

A fantasy football challenge. Time for everyone, famous and not, to ante up and prove their luck / knowledge is better than others. I am thinking of setting up a Fumbled Returns Fantasy Football League comprised of all the self and Internet proclaimed experts out there. Of course I would prefer to have true geniuses such as myself and SAM part of this league but it would be really cool to get a truly diverse mix of people to belly up to the challenge.

Challenge #3b:

A Stock Picker Challenge. Perhaps similar to what I do here with a monthly watch list and “recommended” picks type of format. Like the Fantasy Challenge, you do not have to put up money just submit your ideas and picks.

So, what do people think of these challenges? Perhaps between the Linky tools and the Yakezie Challenge, I can get enough people interested to do both.

So, with that in mind, my first step is to find more like minded folks out there who are willing to share ideas and participate in a little friendly competition. I have entered in the Yakezie Challenge AND started a Linkytool feedback form to gather interested parties AND promote fellow blogger web sites.

The true objective of these challenges is not really to prove who is right or wrong or better but to gather ideas regarding both which in the long run will make all of us smarter.

And of course have some fun!

After all, with challenge and change comes opportunity. In this case hopefully an opportunity to have some fun, meet new bloggers, and perhaps learn something along the way.

Just click on the top blogger widget box at the beginning of my blog entries!

Who’s interested?


Rocky Diggs May 24, 2010 at 4:39 AM  

Fumbled Returns, I'll be back daily! Aloha.

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